by Beki Pineda

GOD OF CARNAGE – Written by Yasmina Reza; Directed by Kryssi Martin. Produced by Invictus Theatre Company (presented at The People’s Building, 9995 East Colfax, Aurora) through July 2. Tickets available at invictustheatredenver.com.

A recipe for fun: If you want to make a tasty clafouti, start with a two young but spoiled apples of their parent’s eyes. Add two pairs of parents separated by differences of opinion. Scramble in a little scared hamster, a large stick, and an unrelenting call phone. Sprinkle with a bottle of good rum. Mix well with half-baked ideologies and simmer with resentment for about 90 minutes. Voila!! You’ve got a cake (or is it a tart!) worth seeing. You’ve also got a very funny theatre evening as provided by Invictus Theatre Company.

A hopefully “civilized” meeting has been set between two sets of parents regarding a playground altercation between their 11-year-old sons. The blame bounces back and forth with allegiances to offspring and spouse making rapid fire changes as well. Despite their stilted outward appearance, these are not happy people. It’s clear that their sons have learned well from their parents the value of a belittling remark and brute force to resolve conflict. Director Kryssi Martin has used light to periodically create a metaphysical boxing ring with each parent going to their corner to prepare for the next round.

Bevin Antea who starts out apologetic and submissive as Benjamin’s mother evolves into a Mama Bear midway through the evening. Her husband Alan as portrayed by Todd Black is an arrogant lawyer jaded by the cover up work he does for Big Pharma. The most transparent and realistic of the four, he has been forced to this pointless meeting against his will and makes no pretense otherwise. Veronica, Henry’s mother, as played by O D Duhu, shows her aggression early on with catch phrases such as “armed with a stick” and “attacked.” The foursome is finished by Andrew Neary who starts off fairly normal also but dissolves eventually into an angry and bewildered participant. All four slide into these characters with ease and humor.

Invictus’ production of GOD OF CARNAGE has one more long weekend of performances, starting with an industry night on Wednesday, June 29. The People’s Building is a funky performing space for theatre and concert groups who don’t have their own space. It deserves a better outside facade but once you get inside, it’s a delightful place to watch theatre. Runs are usually short – two or three weeks only. But it behooves the discerning playgoer to check periodically what’s happening in this space (managed by Aaron Vega for the City of Aurora).

A WOW factor of 8!

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